When it comes to delivering a realistic wound, we have to do our research. In this case it was tough. This episode’s plot contained horses that are part of the Tennessee Walking world (if you missed last night’s show – a Tennessee Walker is a breed of gaited horse known for its unique four-beat “running walk” and flashy movement). The horses are being abused and treated horribly to benefit a selfish showman. The horses pasterns (a part of the leg of a horse) are rubbed raw, and caustic materials such as paint thinner and battery acid are applied so it is too uncomfortable for the horse to use pressure to push down with its hooves, resulting in a showy, unnatural walk. They then use weighted straps and chains to chew through the animal’s skin. This type of abuse is soaring. In order to simulate the effect, we had to create various stages of “burning” on the horses legs; the green colour simulates the battery acid mix that is slopped on. The biggest challenge is getting three completely different looks for different scenes in one day. If you’re in Canada, click here to watch the episode.
Heartland horse blog Part V